Our guide to identifying the best possible WhatsApp Business Platform channel for your customers
So you’ve seen the benefits of B2B WhatsApp and have decided to spin up your own channel, but then it dawns on you, how do I take full advantage of WhatsApp’s super-high levels of engagement?
There are plenty of ways B2B WhatsApp can be used to benefit a business, so we’ve picked out eight of the best examples to illustrate how a WhatsApp channel can deliver tangible results. It’s important to remember that with personalisation or a smart content strategy, more than one of these approaches can potentially be used in unison so provides multiple benefits.
- Driving more online sales
B2B WhatsApp has been developed to link directly to a wholesaler’s eCommerce platform and has already proved to be an effective way to increase online sales. Users of our B2B WhatsApp solution have reported a 9% increase in sales from customers sent communications via WhatsApp versus SMS. The reason behind this success is the sky-high open rate (Meta report a 98% open rate v 22% for email) and a click-through rate to match (45-60% conversions, say Meta). Do that maths and it’s clear messaging at the point of purchase is a powerful tool.
- Replacing printed marketing materials
Many wholesalers using our service have taken the opportunity to reduce the production and distribution costs of printing marketing materials, transferring a portion of the cost and becoming more sustainable. While like-for-like communications can be sent in lieu of printed marketing, WhatsApp’s highly flexible platform provides more options to tailor these messages to a digital audience, increasing the creativity – and engagement – of these communications.
- Creating a new supplier revenue stream
Suppliers have already started to sit up and take notice of B2B WhatsApp’s power and want to get a piece of the action themselves. For some of the wholesalers already using our solution, that has created a brand-new revenue stream, with suppliers willing to pay to feature within their WhatsApp channels and take full advantage of the huge levels of engagement it delivers. WhatsApp’s ability to send rich media also means content can be tailored to the audience to achieve best results.
- Engaging with customers on a more powerful social media
B2B WhatsApp can have a transformative impact on direct communications, but it can also form part of an even more powerful social media strategy. Whereas other social media platforms require a mastering of the various algorithms and a reliance on the target audience using the apps at the right time, WhatsApp pushes directly to your customers at the best possible time to get them to act.
While analysis of the best times to send messages and understanding the buying habits of your customers remain best practice, a WhatsApp notification will remain unread until someone is ready to read it. Compare this to other social channels or push notifications, where they can be swiped away forever – a WhatsApp message will remain flagged until someone is ready to view it.
- Promoting new products
New product development is big business in wholesale and WhatsApp provides a great way to spread the word about what’s new in your business. Particularly in foodservice where the brand play isn't as big as retail, understanding how a product can be used, why it’s better than what’s currently on offer, and its quality are crucial to getting the sale.
The variety of content that B2B WhatsApp can share makes achieving a high-quality promotion of a new product more effective, but combined with the ability to get people to add it to their basket by clicking on a link to an eCommerce environment – or even with one tap from the message itself thanks to enhanced personalisation – can not only spread the word, but increase sales conversion.
- Inspiring customers to make incremental spend
An effective content strategy is so much more than sharing transactional information, with B2B WhatsApp potentially becoming the creative hub of a business where a steady stream of helpful advice, updates and knowledge to customers. By sharing latest trends and ideas in a soft-sell approach, your B2B WhatsApp channel will become an important resource that subtly reaffirms key messages and wins hearts and minds – inspiring customers to make incremental spend.
- Communicating business-critical alerts instantly
The speed B2B WhatsApp messages are read makes it the perfect communication channel to share updates with customers that need to be acted on quickly. Our figures show that 29% of messages sent with the platform are read within the first 10 minutes, rising to 55% in the first hour, with read receipts meaning that it’s easy to track if people have seen the message or not. Therefore, a WhatsApp channel is a great place to share news on flash deals to clear short stock, information on product recalls, urgent allergen updates or other news.
- Reconnecting with lapsed customers
Lapsed customers represent a significant opportunity if they can be convinced to return, so reminding them of why they spent with you in the first place is a great place to start. The big challenge is how to effectively communicate with these customers, with B2B WhatsApp providing an excellent route to driving them back to you.
As long as a former customer has given permission for you to share marketing information with them within a reasonable period, it’s possible to send them promotions or exclusive deals – with B2B WhatsApp’s open rates almost guaranteeing messages are being seen.
Photo by Asterfolio on Unsplash